Oh winter, how do I miss my gardens and hanging outside with my flock as they meander around me. Today, instead of feeling glum, I decided to make a miniature chicken garden. Actually, I got a bit carried away and made a few. Once I got started I could not help myself. As I planted up these sweet little gardens, I was envisioning being in my gardens with my own flock. I swear I could here these tiny little chickens carrying on, clucking as to which garden they wanted to explore.
Earlier this year, my family and I traveled to Hawaii. One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens. This Hawaiian tropical garden was a hidden gem, that we discovered on the Big Island of Hawaii. I had no idea what to expect, nor did my family. My family indulged me a bit as we purchased our tickets. From the outside entrance, it seems as though we would only be exploring for a few moments. Three hours later, we had to pull ourselves from the beauty and awe. In the gardens alone, we took over 200 photos. From the landscape, grounds, orchids, unique tropical plantings and the crashing ocean, we were in awe. I am so thrilled to be able to share this experience with you.
One of my favorite things about the holiday season is growing bulbs indoors. I do this for both Christmas and Easter. There is something about growing flowers indoors during the chilly winter months. During Christmastime, I especially love growing paperwhites. This is a fail-proof project for even those with a brown thumb. If you have grown paper whites in the past, I can bet that one of your biggest pet peeves and mine too is that when they grow tall they often flop over from gravity. Sure, there are ways to add things to the water to stunt their growth, but why harm the bulb? This year, I wanted to show you a simple and easy way to grow paperwhites without them falling over. I love to give these as gifts. They are simple and stunning and I’m going to show you how to make them!
As most of you know, late this summer we moved across town. One of the most difficult things that I had to do was leave behind what we designed and grew from nothing 13 years ago. Over those years, I turned a vacant lot into a lush oasis, filled with perennial walking gardens, blue stone patios, a fabulous chicken garden, a honeybee apiary and a lovely area of raised garden beds. My heart still pines for those gardens, wondering how they are growing without my daily tending. Weirdly, I miss my plants. I had no idea they were such a part of me. But with change, comes new opportunities and I got a head start on next year’s vegetable garden at the new place.
Last fall, I created the most fantastic succulent topped pumpkin for HGTV Gardens. It was so much fun and I loved seeing how it all came together so easily. This month I’ll be at the Country Living Fair doing a live demonstration on Saturday afternoon to share how simple and easy it is for you to create succulent topped pumpkins at home. I love creating each and everyone. No two succulent topped pumpkins are ever alike.
I love gardening in miniature and with spring in the air I could not help myself. My daughter and I decided to create a miniature garden that we would both love to spend time in. With a cottage garden as inspiration, the entire miniature garden came together in under an hour’s time. We had so much fun creating this outdoor scene. For the plantings we chose pansies, grape hyacinths, lettuce, lavender, dianthus and english daisies. We even used a small little bit of sedum. I’ll share more on that later.
Every year I look forward to watching the Academy Awards each February. I love the whole thing, from the pre-show to see what everyone is wearing to the actual award ceremony. I adore this glimpse into Hollywood. It reminds me of the days when I went to UCLA and every year my best friend was a seat filler at the awards. Her interning firm was in charge of tallying all the votes and keeping them under lock and key until show time.
Last week, I took a trip out west to California for filming. I was excited to be back in California close to where I grew up and I was even more excited to be able to connect with a long time online friend, Cindy from The Succulent Perch. With a huge love for succulents and a mutual admiration of them, Cindy suggested that we get together at one of her favorite places in the world, actually one of the world’s largest succulent growers, to put together a succulent arrangement for my sister who I would be seeing later in the week.
I just adore succulents. Today I wanted to show you how to make this succulent wreath. To make a succulent wreath like this, I borrow bits and pieces from larger plants in my garden.
My friend Deb for years now has grown the most beautiful dahlias. Raised beds upon raised beds dance with dahlias, zinnias and among other blooms in her cutting garden. This spring, I was inspired to try dahlias in my garden. It was Longfield Gardens once again that gave me a boost. They generously sent me some dahlia tubers to put into the ground.